Free Your Mind

My pants open up new vistas. I’m against penis binding. — Eldridge Cleaver

In the wake of #metoo, I imagine there a lot of you out there feeling repressed, bound, all those flirty energies caught up in a web of “Oh shit, can I really give her a compliment?” In honor of all you sensitive souls out there, the good guys, the ones who respect women as 100% equal species on the planet, I give you this:

Eldridge Cleaver put this ad in the International Herald Tribune in 1975

Eldridge Cleaver put this ad in the International Herald Tribune in 1975


Penis pants! 

Now how’s that for a coming out party. Feels good, right? I am a man, watch me soar! More on Cleaver and his “virility pants” anon.

Not wanting to lead my fellow women out of this game of politically correct consumption, how about this?

Vivienne Westwood's penis clutch

Vivienne Westwood's penis clutch


It’s made by Vivienne Westwood, and the only photos you’ll find of it online are in the hands of Rihanna, who received it from Westwood as a gift. I also found it at a French second-hand store and I won’t tell you until I overcome my inner BUY LESS energies. Vivienne would approve. See this vid and her fantastic website dedicated to climate change.

But really? A penis clutch. Correction: an erect penis clutch in iridescent faux-alligator. What more will you ever need? Every gala dress is now dressed up with a conversation piece par excellence, every trip to the grocery store a bag of laughs. When was the last time you thought of decorating yourself with penis paraphernalia? It’s not the first time for Westwood. Look at these cuff links, this bracelet.

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Eldridge Cleaver, on the other hand, turned from left to right (and I don’t mean how he hangs). He used to be a Black Panther member, became a candidate for President in 1968, a tongue-in-cheek fashion designer, and ended up in more than dubious circles of thought. That happens quite often, this switch from radical left to radical right. On the complicated twisted turns of his life, from believing that North Korea held the answer to equality to a religious group he headed up called the Guardians of the Sperm, it just goes to show that not all leftist thinking is as open-minded as one might like to believe. 

Yesterday at the protest against the AfD gathering at Brandenburg Gate, many fellow protestors were shouting easy soundbites like “Nazis Raus!” or “Ganz Berlin hasst die AfD”: I had come to the gathering to show my stance against the AfD’s growing numbers, to be part of a number bigger than theirs. But being a part of a crowd, one feels castrated in one’s own beliefs. I didn’t want to shout anything with the word “hate” in it. That just further divides us and resolves nothing. It is a castration of thought. “We’ve been castrated in clothing,” Cleaver said in an interview in Jet magazine in 1978. Free your mind, or your bound penis, or so one thinks, and the rest will follow. Nothing could be further from the truth, of course. But for now, the idea of a penis clutch feels like a LOL statement of empowerment, a subtle weapon against narrow-minded avenues, making enemies at every turn of the road.